On Blogging More, Post-Social Media, New Music, and a California Bike Trip Video

September 27, 2021

It’s already October! It’s starting to cool off in Texas. It’s only 90 in the heat of the afternoon instead of 105. The mornings are cool and sometimes even brisk.

I’ve been riding my bike up the road to a new local coffee shop and bakery in Granbury. It’s about 3 miles each way. Bike rides make the day 1000% better, every time. So do fruit danishes but I’m restraining myself from eating them every day. The FRENCH TOAST, though, is only available twice a week and is the best I’ve ever had. Hot damn.

Year Progress: 74% complete

It’s been a weird couple of years, right? I (for the most part) have not been blogging or podcasting. I write plenty for work. It continues to be hard to do the things I do for work as hobbies (surprise!). But here I am, writing again.

2021 has been far better than 2020, for me anyways. I’m watching it be a terrible year for so many people, most of whom probably don’t deserve it. (Some of you do, and you know if you do.)

I continue to find things I love doing to fight the sadness. My twice-daily short walk to the park and the boat dock with the dogs (Biscuit and Billy). My weekly band practice with the Landon and Casey at Landon’s house in Brock. Short drives around Granbury. Coffee shop work sessions. Bike rides, runs, hot yoga.

It’s a good life. I try to make it a little better every day or week. It seems to be working. Fingers crossed.

Making plans for the future helps a lot. You don’t always have to share them, but sometimes it’s fun to tell people just to see what happens. You really never know who is going to find a way to help or spread the plan to someone else who might also be into it.

One of my big problems is that I always to wait to long to write things or make things. I forgot that the time you devote to it is the thing that brings something magical. Writing, podcasting, music, being creative. It’s always the doing of the thing that changes the world in some way. It’s not always the way you expect, but you get lucky sometimes.

And you might as well enjoy what you do while you’re doing it. Celebrate it.

Take music for example. I took it for granted that live music was always going to be a thing. Sure, you can go out any night of the week and watch a great band playing. Until one day you couldn’t. And you realize that live music isn’t guaranteed. It was terrible.

I’ve been going to a lot of shows and concerts lately.

Post Social Media

I’ve started telling people I’m post-social media now. We did have some good times, especially in the first 5 years or so. But man, it got dark after awhile. It turned into something ugly. Did I contribute to it? I think so. It’s hard to say for sure.

Someone I’ve worked with summarized it well today:

Feels like the cognitive dissonance here, for me, is not putting front and center the core issue: People (including myself) are quite easily manipulated by well tested behavioral psychology techniques, and facebook and other social media companies are intentionally using those techniques to create an addiction.
Misinformation and all the rest are negative consequences but a sideshow to the root causes. Like I get wanting to create a bad’ or evil’ player but i’m guessing most people who lead up these teams at facebook both don’t want to propagate misinformation but also don’t want to stop winning.

Twitter and Instagram were providing useful things yes, but they also sucked all the joy and focus out of my life. I can’t use them anymore. At least not in their current form and function.

I feel better without them.

New Things for You

I did make some things for you this year. Some songs, a video, new analytics software and tools for podcasters.

Video: California Bike Trip 2021 - Riding Down the Coast - 4K

That was a great time. My 36th birthday was just a couple days into the 5 day bike ride from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. We drank coffee. We rode bikes. We ate so many snacks. We slept in tents or the van. We ate so many snacks. We drank hard kombucha. We ate a lot of vegan food. It was all perfect and exhausting and the most fun you can imagine. That crew. Good. Times.

Anyways. Songs. Recorded some new songs with Kolton and the Clever Few, and also joined a couple new projects. Check em out. They’re all Texas music. And pretty great too, if you ask me.

And finally.

The podcast analytics software tools are available at https://chartable.com/publishers.

I wrote a list today of my favorite Chartable features for growing an podcast audience and measuring and understanding them. They include:

If you’re an indie podcaster, check out the Indie or Pro plans. If you’ve got a budget to invest in marketing your podcast or podcasts, check out the Pro or Enterprise plan features. Anyone can get started for free: https://help.chartable.com/article/172-getting-started-for-publishers

I’ve been working with the Chartable team for the past year and I’m super proud of what we’ve made so far.

87% of the top 200 podcasts in Apple Podcasts use Chartable.* You can too.

Podcast Recommendations:

That’s all for me for now. I hope you’re well, take care of yourself and the people around you as best you can. Make some music, write something nice to someone. Life goes by fast.

Aaron Dowd

Granbury, Texas

September 27, 2021

p.s. Moving to Fort Worth soon, buying that house in the sweet part of town from my sister, hell yeah

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